Okwui Enwezor’s Venice Biennale Is an Unpleasant Experience—And That’s a Good Thing
Hans Haacke is known for his multimedia works with sharply critical social and political overtones—some of which have been subject to censorship and even public defamation. Perhaps his most iconic work was Germania, his 1993 installation at the German pavilion of the Venice Biennale that made explicit reference to Nazi-era politics. Other works engage with topics like the shady dealings between real estate tycoons and the Nazi party, the economic consequences of German reunification, the activities of multinational corporations. His process and materials are perpetually changing, perhaps as a result of his lifelong aversion to the idea of “style” and “personal expression.” Though Haacke is commonly considered a conceptual artist, he fails to see his own work that way—instead, he thinks of his practice as one that does not deal in objects but intellectual provocation.
German-American, b. 1936, Cologne, Germany, based in New York, New York